Question mark over Sonny Bill for Blues-Lions clash

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 04:58
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Blues placed a question mark over Sonny Bill Williams as they named their side to play the British and Irish Lions on Wednesday.

The double World Cup winning All Blacks centre has been battling a knee injury and did not play in the Blues Super Rugby win over the Reds in Apia on Friday.

Although he trained with the side on Monday, he was bracketed at inside centre with TJ Faiane when the side was named to play the Lions. 

All Blacks prop Charlie Faumuina, who has been sidelined with illness, returns for the Lions clash as do George Moala and Augustine Pulu who missed the Reds match.

Other players with All Blacks experience named in the side include Steven Luatua, Rieko Ioane, James Parsons and Ofa Tu'ungafasi.

Jerome Kaino, who is still recovering from knee surgery, is missing but remains in the frame to be fit for the first Test on June 24.

The Lions team will be named later Monday.

Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Sonny Bill Williams/TJ Faiane, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi. 
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane/Melani Nanai. 

Date: Wednesday, June 7
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (08.35 UK & Ireland time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gauzère
Assistant referees: TBC
TMO: TBC

Agence France-Presse